New Delhi: China has been adversely hit by a second wave of the deadly coronavirus pandemic, and the situation in the capital city of Beijing is “extremely severe”, an official said on Tuesday. The Asian major reported at least 67 new cases in the last 24 hours, including 42 from Beijing. Also Read - Containment Zones in Delhi Stand at 455; Door-to-Door Health Survey Completed in COVID Hotspot

The epidemic situation in the capital is extremely severe,” a city official issued the warning during a press conference. Also Read - Assam Launches Door-to-Door COVID-19 Mass Testing in Guwahati Amid Total Lockdown

As a result, China has begun mass-testing for over 90,000 people and locked down several residential areas near the wholesale markets, which supply more than 90 per cent of vegetables and meat products, since May 30. Also Read - After India, US 'Looking at' Banning Chinese Social Media Apps Including TikTok

Over the five days, Beijing alone reported as many as 106 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

The city administration even sacked two officials in Fengtai district – Zhou Yuqing, deputy head of the Fengtai district government, and Wang Hua, Party secretary of Huaxiang Township in Fengtai – for misconduct in office during epidemic prevention and control.

Notably, the World Health Organisation (WHO), which came under fire for “supporting” China since the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan in December last, however, said the strain of the virus circulating at the Xinfadi market is not new.

The WHO also said it sought a report from China on the new cluster of cases in Beijing while its officials have not yet visited the area.

“We have asked China for the genetic sequencing and to receive new data on the epidemic as the investigation unfolds, and our counterparts are committed to continuing to provide such data. WHO is following up with Chinese officials for further detail,” it said.

Beijing health officials appealed to all locals to undergo nucleic acid tests as all the recent cases since May 30 were linked to people who visited the Xinfadi market in south Beijing’s Fengtai district.

The sudden increase in cases has sparked concern that China may be on the cusp of a rebound of COVID-19, belying experts’ predictions that a second wave may hit the country during the winter starting from October.

All hospitals in Beijing have been ordered to perform nucleic acid and antibody tests, a CT scan and a routine blood test on patients with a fever, Gao Xiaojun, spokesperson of Beijing’s health commission, told the media on Sunday.